In September 2016, Asia-Pacific and Middle East air freight grew, despite global trade growth remaining weak, according to the latest statistics from the Airports Council International (ACI). In September 2016 Asia-Pacific generated robust growth at +6.7 per cent whereas the Middle East increased at +3.1 per cent. For the year-to-date, Asia-Pacific and Middle East grew +2.5 per cent and +4.1 per cent respectively.
In Asia-Pacific, the surge in volume in September was contributed in part by the strengthening of international freight market, and one-time factor such as the release and replacement of mobile devices such as the iPhone 7 and Galaxy Note 7. The top three freight hubs all delivered robust increase: Hong Kong (HKG) +7.2 per cent, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +7.4 per cent and Seoul Incheon +8.1 per cent.
The results in the Middle East were mixed in September, air freight volumes at the largest hub Dubai (DXB) shrank -1.0 per cent while Doha (DOH) continued to expand at a fast pace at +16.3 per cent.
For the first nine months, overall air freight growth in Asia-Pacific improved gradually, especially in the third quarter where the sector experienced strong international air freight demand. On the other hand, the signals were mixed in the Middle East, while some markets appeared to be slowing down gradually for instance in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar remained a bright spot where robust growth continued to be observed.